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Label Printer Redirects 99 Percent of Waste Into Fuel Pellets

Packaging Digest (03/07/12) Pierce, Lisa McTigue

Weber Packaging Solutions has launched a new effort to save its former label waste from landfills by converting it into pellets that can be burned for industrial fuel. The company annually generates more than 1,500 tons of paper and synthetic waste as a byproduct of its label manufacturing and printing process, and Weber’s John O’Leary said that “with all the new waste-handling options that are available today, it’s often possible to repurpose scrap and save on disposal costs at the same time.”

Weber’s label scrap is turned into fuel pellets by Pellet America of Wisconsin, while Weber collects the waste using a scrap-loading system from SP Industries that Weber facilities manager Matt Zoost said is “designed to literally pack paper waste into semi trailers.” The system is essentially a massive trash compactor that compresses the label scrap by shunting it into a semi-trailer. Once a trailer load of compressed scrap is completely filled, Pellet America picks up the material at Weber’s facility and ships it to its own plant.

“We’re on pace to redirect 99 percent of our annual label waste from the landfill, and repurpose it as raw material for fuel pellets,” Zoost said. “And it looks like we’re also going to reduce our waste disposal expenses by nearly 20 percent, and that includes the cost of using semi-trailers to transport the material to Wisconsin.”